We are pleased to announce the completion of an extensive oil painting restoration project! In 2017, we successfully secured two grants for the restoration of oil paintings owned by the museum. A priority assessment was funded by the Indiana Historical Society and made possible by the Lilly Endowment, Inc.
Using the results of the assessment, museum staff selected 7 paintings and several frames to be restored with a grant from the Montgomery County Community Foundation (MCCF). Among the paintings restored, thanks to MCCF, were two painted by Lew Wallace, Love Triumphant and Cows in the River.
The museum also received a Heritage Support Grant in 2017 that was provided by the Indiana Historical Society and made possible by the Lilly Endowment, Inc. The Heritage Support Grant allowed for the restoration of the two largest paintings in the collection—The Turkish Princess and The Conspirators.
The Turkish Princess was a gift to Lew Wallace from Sultan Abdul Hamid II of the Ottoman Empire; the painting appears to be watching visitors as they move around the Study interior. The Conspirators, the largest painting done by Lew Wallace, is an iconic depiction is of the men, including John Wilkes Booth and Lewis Payne, who conspired to assassinate Abraham Lincoln and attack other members of the cabinet in 1865.
The paintings selected for restoration were of critical concern because of structural issues and active deterioration. Art and frame conservators cleaned the items, repaired damage, and fully restored them. Thanks to the work of the art and frame conservators, these paintings have been cleaned, repaired, and fully restored so that they can be now be safely on display in the Wallace Study as they have been for 120 years. These paintings were extraordinarily significant to Lew Wallace and it is important for the mission of the museum to protect and preserve these parts of the Wallace collection.